COMMENTARY

Yes, Monday's massive gun rally, which closed streets and saw thousands of heavily armed people playing soldier on the streets of Richmond, ended without violence. Yes, many of those who attended are undoubtedly law-abiding people sincere in their fervor about the Second Amendment. Yes, the crowd shouldn't be construed as solely...
By Lori Haas In January of 1957, 12 sticks of dynamite were found at the Rev. Martin Luther King’s home in Montgomery, Alabama. The fuses had been lit, but were smoldered out. At the time, he was a 28-year-old Baptist minister and lead organizer of the Montgomery bus boycotts. Authorities later...
By the time you read this, thousands of people — maybe some intent on angry and perhaps violent confrontation— will be making their way to what was once the welcoming, parklike lawn of Virginia’s majestic hilltop Capitol. But on this Monday morning, they’ll find a barren and forbidding landscape ringed...
Programming note: The Weekender is moving. Starting this coming week, this newsletter will go out on Saturdays.  Mercury commentary ICYMI: In a guest piece, Alexa Capeloto, an associate professor of journalism at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, explores how schools like George Mason University get to keep secret donors...
By Karla Loeb Last month, a broad coalition of clean energy companies including energy efficiency providers, rooftop solar installers and utility scale renewable energy developers joined with leading environmental groups and Democratic lawmakers to unveil the key pillars that will make up the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a bill that...
Shortly after Barack Obama won his first term as president, I was sitting in a courthouse in South Louisiana waiting for the start of a proceeding in a trial I was covering. The sheriff's deputies who patrolled the courthouse were chatting with clerks about the havoc the new president-elect was...
By Sarah Bedard Holland As the 2020 legislative session begins, a recent study from Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services on emergency department use for dental issues among Medicaid recipients shows an unavoidable truth: Virginians are in desperate need of oral health care.  Under Virginia’s current Medicaid program, adults in Virginia...
Climate and energy activists have been pinning their hopes on the 2020 legislative session to produce a framework for transitioning our economy to 100 percent carbon-free energy. After years of talking big but delivering little in the way of carbon reductions and clean energy, the General Assembly is under...
Athletes at Virginia colleges, unpaid stars in one of America’s richest sports entertainment enterprises, could be compensated for the first time for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses under new state legislation. Three bills, one by a Democrat and two by Republicans, await action in the just-opened...
By Alexa Capeloto  In April 2018, the public learned that George Mason University had let the Charles Koch Foundation have a say in the hiring and review of faculty. The revelation confirmed long-held suspicions that Virginia’s largest public university was susceptible to pressure from wealthy people who make big donations...